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what restaurant do you keep passing by for years upon years and yet have not mustered the gumption to finally try ????

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    1. re: Ciao Bob

      not missing anything...
      go to Langer's for delish pastrami

      1. re: fressergirl

        Johnnie's has a pretty extensive menu.

        Pastrami aside, I think their corned beef sandwich is worth a try if you've never been, their onion rings are good, their hot dogs/chili dogs are good, I've had the fried shrimp their more than once or twice (sometimes on the sandwich) ...

        Langer's does beat Johnnie's when it comes to pastrami (though they are totally different types of pastrami) -- but the pastrami is not the best thing on JP's menu.

        1. re: PaulF

          I'd say the purpose of these websites is to help make judgments on which restaurants to try and which to stay away from - lest you be disappointed.

          And I'd say Johnnie's is pretty disappointing.

          1. re: PaulF


            i may have to give it a try for the fried shrimp. and maybe their onion rings.

            do they have a fried fish filet sandwich too ????

            and if i'm not mistaken, this is in reference to the Johnnie's Pastrami in culver city rather than the possibly tangentially related one in the Crenshaw District on Jefferson, right ????

            1. re: kevin

              I liked the pastrami at the Jefferson one.

              1. re: kevin

                Culver City

                Yes, they have fried fish.

                And chili fries.

        2. Melisse. And I'm not lacking gumption. Unless gumption was money.

          14 Replies
          1. re: PeterCC

            I went to their Thanksgiving set-meal dinner once many moons ago, and it was $75 pp and absolutely delicious. Not sure if they still do that, but it might provide a (slightly) more affordable entry point for a meal there....

            1. re: PeterCC

              wait, but aren't you the one that keeps going to shunji for extravagant meals every week? :> (i love your pics. :>

              1. re: chowseeker1999

                chow, you have a point there !!!!! :)

                1. re: chowseeker1999

                  I wish "every week". My Shunji visits are usually within small chunks of time and then a big gap. So I did average once a month in the spring but nowhere close to weekly.

                  Looking at Melisse's menu, it seems impossible (save the occasional $75 specials) to get out of there for less than triple-digits per person, whereas that is very doable at Shunji... if you have the willpower.

                  (Thanks for the compliment on the pics. Here's some from my lunch sushi omakase at Kiriko today.)

                  1. re: PeterCC

                    how much was this at kiriko ?????

                      1. re: PeterCC

                        Wow. From your pictures, the $40 tariff seems like downright grand larceny.

                        I thought you mentioned only two of the pieces would be dope.

                        But here it looks like at the very least 7 out of 10 of the pieces, if not more look pretty fucking dope, each with it's own distinctive unique sauce.

                        Got's a mini-report at least to go with those pictures.

                        1. re: kevin

                          Just for you (and anyone else who--to keep with the topic of the thread--may have driven by Kiriko many times and not tried it)...

                          My Order: $40 lunch sushi omakase, salad, miso soup, 9 pieces of nigiri, blue crab hand roll. (I opted out of the blue crab hand roll for a 10th piece of nigiri.)

                          My Chef: Shinji-san

                          First 5 pieces, left to right, top row first: maguro akami (lean tuna--I don't recall if it was bluefin), tai (red snapper), house-smoked wild king salmon w/caviar, bintoro (albacore belly, marked "fresh" on the menu--meaning wild, I think), fresh ikura (house-cured, so technically sujiko).

                          Second 5 pieces, top to bottom, left side first: aori or yari ika (squid, Shinji said what kind but I didn't catch it), iwashi (sardine), karei (flounder), kamasu (barracuda), seared toro (fatty tuna).

                          Highlights: wild king salmon, bintoro, ikura/sujiko, aori/yari ika, iwashi, karei.

                          Conclusion: I think you're right, kevin, I lucked out a bit today. When the toro isn't listed among the highlights... I can't complain. :-)

                          P.S. I also got an 11th piece of nigiri, a separate order of the ikura/sujiko because it was so good. Nutty, slightly bitter, had an almost unagi aftertaste.

                          Bonus: I've included individual pics too.

                          1. re: PeterCC

                            that sounds like a great deal. thanx for sharing! :>

                    1. re: PeterCC

                      hi peter. ah ok. :> i just remembered living vicariously through your mouth-watering discussions about splurging for Truffle Gohan and crazy rare fish, etc. so i figured you were dropping real money at Shunji. :>

                      re: kiriko - wow was that $40 total (including tax and tip)? if so, that's a pretty nice-looking deal. i always felt it was pricey (when we went for dinner).

                      1. re: chowseeker1999

                        Pete, if I'm not mistaken, you didn't hit up the Truffle Gohan just yet, is that correct ?

                        1. re: chowseeker1999

                          Truffle gohan was J.L., who I believe is indisputably the 'hound who goes to Shunji most frequently.

                  2. Valentino (same reason as PeterCC).

                        1. re: PeterCC

                          It's a bit scary... Looks like the king wants to have his way with you.


                          1. re: J.L.

                            Oh, shit.

                            That creeped me out.

                          2. re: PeterCC

                            I haven't had Burger King in a few years, or maybe just a couple, or maybe a year and a half at least.

                            I only had a soft spot for their oblong fried chicken patty sandwiches (that shit was reconstituted to a hell and a hand basket for damn sure), a couple of those and a few Cokes was tasty yet completely disgusting.

                            And I felt like crap for the next 48 hours, same thing with the majority of McD's dishes.

                            It must be those fucked up chemicals they zap and nuke the "food" with.

                            1. re: kevin

                              i went back after a decade long hiatus, man it was terrible. The patty was so overburnt it made me crave griddle cooked hamburgers =X

                              1. re: kevin


                                << a couple of those and a few Cokes was tasty yet completely disgusting.>>

                                why does this phrase make me think of hugh grant's interlude with divine brown on hollywood blvd?

                                1. re: westsidegal

                                  I dont know. But please do explain.

                                  All I had was a couple of those oblong fried chicken sandwiches and a couple cokes (refills from the soda dispenser).

                                  Anyhow I'm all ears.

                                  WG, I wouldn't recommend BK for you. I would even want to begin to think about what your reaction would be to those sandwiches. :)

                                  1. re: kevin

                                    ...yet I cannot help but wonder: What if Sergio was cooking?

                                    1. re: J.L.

                                      Sergio ?

                                      Does BK now have a famous chef doling out the goods like TB ?????

                                      1. re: kevin

                                        Great marketing campaign: "Sergio is now cooking at BK!"

                                        1. re: J.L.

                                          Well. They have that other famous chick overseeing the Bell bowls. So it's only a matter of time. :)

                                    2. re: kevin

                                      just google "Hugh Grant" and "Divine Brown".
                                      sometimes a person, just wants something very dirty and nasty and disgusting even if they have easy access to something of quality . . . .

                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                        WG, now I got it.

                                        Elizabeth Turkey or is it Hurley was his gal at the time I believe right ????

                                        She was definitely a looker.

                                        One cute gal.

                                        Anyhow. To keep it chowish, now I realize your analogy makes sense.

                                          1. re: kevin

                                            the overwhelming odds are that you had actual GOOD food available to you at the time you were shoveling in the "completely disgusting food."

                                            we've all done it at one time or another. . . .

                              2. Any Clearman's. And I've been here over 13 years now - that's just pathetic! I think me and my old HS chum need to do one of our lunches there …

                                I was like that with Bahooka, until Pa-in-law asked us to take him and Maman there. Very glad we did that, especially as both he and Bahooka have gone.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Will Owen

                                  Love Clearman's. Not the best steak but decent shrimp. Love the salads and cheese bread. Comfort food.

                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                    If you decide to visit, check out Steak 'n Stein in Pico Rivera. It is the oldest of the Clearman's locations and delightfully old school with good steaks and sides

                                    1. re: Ernie

                                      any relation to the know closed one on sepulveda in el segundo ????


                                      1. re: kevin

                                        I think that place is called "Stick & Stein" and not related

                                        1. re: Ernie

                                          Thanks for the clarification.

                                          though not that it really matters since it has since closed (or rather has been closed for the past few years).

                                  2. Leaf http://leaforganics.com/ on Washington Blvd. in CC. Maybe it's the paint job that reminds me of the years I worked for Hughes Aircraft or maybe it's the fact that if I surprise my wife with a meal at a raw Vegan place my time on earth will be up. But I just haven't mustered my mustard enough to give that place a whirl..

                                    NEVER MIND: I see that their website says they closed their doors on June 13 of this year. So I am safe!

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: Servorg


                                      I went there once when a friend dragged me there.

                                      Suffice to say, it was terrible.

                                      1. re: Servorg

                                        For me, Leaf was torture - ungulate feed to me. My sister's a vegan and the raw vegan thing there was too much for her as well - she still rags on me for suggesting Leaf. We tried veganism for a few weeks - Leaf made us realize that potentially shaving off a few years of life was worth eating a broader diet. The only thing I was able to voluntarily put in my mouth were the smoothies. I think Leaf expanded their menu to include cooked dishes but I never went back.

                                        1. re: bulavinaka

                                          I gotta say...a few years ago I spend a (super lame) month not eating dairy, meat, sugar, white anything, or alcohol. I went to leaf quite a few times. I tried their chocolate raspberry cheesecake...and it was fricken great. Maybe it was because I was so deprived, but I must have eaten about 10 slices that month. I'm the only person I know who went on a cleanse and gained weight....didn't realize those babies were all compressed cashews!!!

                                        2. re: Servorg

                                          servorg: i went to leaf once.
                                          had no interest in returning.
                                          you missed nothing.

                                        3. Mr. Chow, which is only about 3 doors down from my office. But I never had the gumption (desire) to spend the $$$ for uninspired and overpriced food (based on what I've read from others).

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Wayno

                                            wayno: i did that once for you (on someone else's dime).
                                            my advice is to just pretend you went there. . . .

                                            1. re: westsidegal

                                              Btw. What's your favorite restaurant on the current scene ????


                                              1. re: kevin

                                                i tend not to go to restaurants that are "on the current scene," instead i like to have a regular rotation (except during restaurant week).

                                                you already know my favorites:

                                                stella barra for pizza
                                                800 degrees (good cheap food in westwood)
                                                ayara thai (westchester)
                                                TLT (more good, cheap, food in westwood)
                                                shamshiri grill
                                                the lunch buffet at nayala (sp?)
                                                the tripel

                                                vegetarian places:
                                                cafe gratitude
                                                the spot
                                                vegan thai on main st. (really a little joint with paper plates, no service, a food source--not a real restaurant)

                                                under the category of : IF I HAD MORE MONEY
                                                sushi zo

                                            1. re: ns1

                                              On the flip side, Golden State.

                                              1. re: flowergirl

                                                Dal Rae is probably off my list until (a) I have more money and (b) Mrs. O reverts to carnivorality, or however you say it. Condition (a) has been the main hangup … besides, we're never by there except either midday or after dinner …

                                                1. re: Will Owen

                                                  Yeah, and it seems to me that I never seem to end up there unless I happen to make a special, specific trip down there.

                                                  It must be noted that their chocolate souffles are quite swell.

                                                2. re: flowergirl

                                                  Dal Rae for me too. Have to get the Lobster Thermidor for the total throwback experience.

                                                  1. re: gdtobme

                                                    I hope they use local spiny lobster for the thermidor.

                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                        They serve Australian lobster tails, which are spiny type lobsters...it's just that they are local to the Southern hemisphere rather than the Northern. I would assume that they use the same lobster for the Thermidor.

                                                    1. re: PeterCC

                                                      bingo !!!

                                                      That's the one that I passed by for years.

                                                      And then I finally hit it up.

                                                      1. re: PeterCC

                                                        Try Chez and let me know what you think.

                                                        Especially if you are going to be drinking there.

                                                        1. re: PeterCC

                                                          I had wanted to try Chez Jay after not having been since I was a kid. it was pretty awful - barely edible

                                                        2. George Petrelli's
                                                          Outlaw's (Playa del Rey)
                                                          The Pantry
                                                          The Barkley (So Pas)
                                                          Malibu Seafood

                                                          (all for various reasons I guess)
                                                          It's funny, there are a TON of fast-food/chain places I've been to exactly once (Jack-in-the-Box, Yoshinoya, Tommys), just never needed to go back. Guess that's a different thread - once and done.

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: cant talk...eating

                                                            cant talk. . .eating: i tried two of the ones on your list for you:

                                                            really terrible, both.

                                                            1. re: westsidegal

                                                              Someone rec'd Outlaws, but it might have been because it's a good place to grab a drink.

                                                              1. re: kevin

                                                                the beverages that they served me were served in dirty glasses.
                                                                wouldn't even order a drink there.

                                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                                  "Outlaws" reminds me that there is the scene in a Bob Hope movie ("Son of Paleface," as I recall) in which he goes into a Western saloon and politely orders a milk. The reaction from the other customers, prompts him to then growl to the bartender: "In a dirty glass!"

                                                          2. Dan Tana's: When I speed by, I'm usually going to/from Hwood/WLA ... probably to go someplace to eat.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: SoCalMuncher

                                                              Had a great meal at Tana's last night. Friend and I split the steak and peppers and dark meat beckerman. Really good. Ton of food.

                                                              1. re: Thor123

                                                                I've only tried the potatoes beckerman so far.

                                                                but the shrimp parm is dope.

                                                            2. Panns!!! I keep wanting to take a trip there for the biscuits and fried chicken! I went to finally go last month, but it was 9:30 and a quick pull up of yelp told me it closed at 10. Oh, we'll, one day!

                                                              1. Father's Office (original location). Waiting to pounce on a yet-to-be vacated table has never been a skill at ease in my wheelhouse. Reminds me too much of the lunch room during my freshman year at high school, propping-up the wall, waiting for a friendly face to acknowledge my existence. Ack...

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: silence9

                                                                  Have you been to the Culver City location? Been to the SM one. Was underwhelmed.

                                                                  1. re: PeterCC

                                                                    Hi... I've been to neither the CC nor SM locations. Whenever I'm in CC, I usually veer toward Honey's Kettle, like a shark drawn to a bucket 'o chum. Somethings' gotta give, so perhaps I should simply man-up and give one of them a try. I survived freshman year -- I'll likely survive a burger bar :-)

                                                                2. The untried ones that I have often passed by are generally in the category of upscale, special occasion restaurants where you would go with a group or at least one dining companion. And I'm generally alone during the daytime hours when I pass these places. That would include Dal Rae, Parkway Grill and Valentino.

                                                                    1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                                                      You should really give Taylor's a try.

                                                                      It's not as great as the more upscale steakhouses around town, and the beef is probably much closer to choice than to prime, but at roughly half the price for complete dinners its a minor quibble.

                                                                      And Taylor's does have that old-fashioned steakhouse atmosphere.

                                                                    2. Chinese restaurants with the word "Express" in their name.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: raytamsgv

                                                                        You should really give the one with "Panda" in its title a try. :)

                                                                      2. Dave & Busters. But I've been told I'm not missing much...

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Pamplemoose

                                                                            I can.

                                                                            Nice eye candy, at least sometimes.

                                                                            Wings are slightly better than you would thinks.

                                                                            And the namesake hooters are not half bad.

                                                                            Though it is a chain.

                                                                            1. re: OscarFox

                                                                              Try it. You'll like it. One of my favorite places. An old institution that keeps on giving. Great fresh clam chowder on Friday. Not just a cup or bowl but a bottomless terrine. Also a great bar and wine program. Wish it were closer to home.

                                                                            2. Another for Melisse, after being disappointed at Providence.

                                                                              1. Hinano on Washington Blvd by the Venice pier. It's 3 blocks from my house and I've gone past it at least once a week for many years and I've read all the raves about the burgers, but I just can't bring myself to go inside . . .

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: cookie monster

                                                                                  it looks quite rough-and-tumble.

                                                                                  truth to tell, it kind of is.

                                                                                  But at the same time, their $5 burger is not half bad. though the burger is not that great if it were more expensive.

                                                                                  1. re: yogachik

                                                                                    Yoga, regarding The Lobster, that is an exceptional idea to stay away.

                                                                                  2. how about one that i didn't have the gumption to try until last weekend?

                                                                                    Elite Seafood on Atlantic.

                                                                                    felt too strange to go in as a singleton, knowing nothing about chinese food, knowing no chinese, etc.

                                                                                    but i just got a terrific chinese roommate who put together a group, drove us out there, ordered for us, EVERYTHING!

                                                                                    gotta say, a completely sublime meal.
                                                                                    don't know the names of the dishes , but was one of the gustatory high points of my life so far..

                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                      congrats westsidegal for finally trying Dim Sum at Elite. :> (Or was it dinner? (which would still be great.)

                                                                                      1. re: chowseeker1999

                                                                                        For some reason, my dyslexia read it as a dinner.

                                                                                          1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                            WG, next up for you:

                                                                                            Sea Harbour.

                                                                                            1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                              And I'm glad you enjoyed it.

                                                                                              You might have to start slowly getting out of your Marina Del Rey corridor. There are other treasures around town to unearth.

                                                                                        1. re: westsidegal


                                                                                          Yeah. It's a chowhound Fave.

                                                                                          Glad you enjoyed it. And you didn't even have to drive nor worry about ordering.

                                                                                          You have more than got it made.

                                                                                        2. Palmieri on San Vicente in Brentwood. On the corner of San Vicente and Darlington are four restaurants..Coral Tree, Toscana, Tavern and Palmieri. I don't know why we have never gone there. It is possible that we are always so comfortable and happy at Toscana and Tavern